Tuesday 13 September 2011

Day 163: Mammals and Reptiles

The Rapid City area is full of paying attractions, and Antonia loves animals so I thought we wouldn't leave until she had been to the 'zoo'.  Bear Country USA offers a safari style drive through large enclosures filled with several of North America's large mammals - not just bears. It also has a walk around section with smaller mammals like skunks and porcupines, as well as lots of multi-coloured baby black bears. I now know the difference between an elk and a moose - an elk is disappointingly small.  I also know the difference between a black bear and a grizzly.  A grizzly can grow to be unacceptably large.  I can almost handle the idea of facing off a black bear by looking small and unobtrusive!

A snake with its mouth full of mouse and its skin still peeling.

The Reptile Gardens is also a lot of fun.  The highlights are the alligator show and the snake show, where you watch a staff member feed himself to the alligators and boas respectively (just kidding, it was actually fun and educational!) and the indoor reptile garden.  This is rather like an indoor butterfly habitat, in that you go in to this greenhouse and various lizards and things are there loose. It's very cool.  Around the greenhouse on two levels are the usual glass-fronted cages for the more dangerous animals: cobras, komodos, giant saltwater crocodiles, etc.

They have dragons too!  Wanted, for various misdemeanors.  One day when I get free access to Photoshop, I will turn the sign lettering back the right way up:

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